Ever since I read about the merger of LXDE and Razor-Qt into the LXQtproject I have been patiently waiting for it to be available on Debian. Razor-QT was a beautiful, clean, and fast desktop environment, and LXDE has always been my go to choice for low power hardware. I have tried installing LXQt a few times in the past running sid, but the experience was never as good as I would have liked it to be. This weekend I finally got a chance to install it with the latest version of Debian Testing, and I am excited to announce that its wonderful. I have been growing disillusioned with the state of the Linux Desktop for a while now. Back in the GNOME2 days I could always count on my Linux Desktop being as fast, responsive, and sane. But GNOME3, Unity, and even KDE 5 feel clunky and slow (especially in a Virtual Machine). I want my Desktop Environment to get out of my way and let me do my work, and LXQt lets me do just that.
Installation is pretty straight forward. I would recommend starting fresh, and install Debian Testing “standard” (i.e. no Desktop Environment at all). Once you have gone through the regular installation process, you should find yourself in a shell. Install xorg and lxqt with the following commands:
apt update apt install xorg lxqt -y
This may take a while, but once this process is complete you can reboot and you will find yourself in a beautiful, modern, fast, and productive desktop environment.
You will find yourself in a pretty bare bones environment. I would suggest installing firefox, emacs (or whatever other text editor you like), a mail client (check out Sylpheed), Dropbox, and LibreOffice.
My absolute favorite part of LXQt so far is that it comes with the awesome qterminal application which has simple horizontal and vertical splitting similar to iTerm2. This is the first time that I have been exposed to this emulator and I love it so far. Kudos to the LXQt team for an amazing release, and thank you to the Debian maintainers for packaging this up nicely. I am looking forward to continue to see LXQt improve. If you are looking for a fast, traditional desktop experience, I would highly recommend giving LXQt a try.